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Ambassador Jawad Speaks with Military Families at Fairchild Air Force Base

Ambassador Jawad traveled to Washington State on March 1 to meet with the spouses and children of deployed airmen currently serving in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He met with a small group of military family members at Fairchild Air Force Base to express his appreciation and the gratitude of the Afghan people for the incredible sacrifices they have made to defend freedom across the world. “It is important for me that each of you know how meaningful this is to ordinary Afghans. You are a vital part of this noble undertaking to provide the Afghan people with the freedom and security they have been denied so long,” said Ambassador Jawad.

After meeting with the families, the Ambassador addressed a larger forum of 300 military personnel, including a number of officers who recently returned from tours of duty in Afghanistan. He spoke about the history of the relationship between the two countries, extending back to the 1800s, and briefed the audience about the current challenges faced in Afghanistan. “President Bush clearly and strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to Afghanistan. It is equally important that the American know that that Afghans remained committed to the mission that American troops are fighting and dying to see achieved,” he said.

When asked about what kind of country most Afghans hoped to create, the Ambassador replied that the majority of Afghans want a free, pluralistic society, in which they can send their children to school, start a new business, speak their minds, and build a life.

“Afghans are truly grateful for the assistance provided by you.  We value the sacrifice of American solders fighting alongside Afghans to defend freedom and to make Afghanistan, America and the world a safer place,” he said.

Colonel Scott Hanson, a commanding officer at the base, enjoyed the opportunity to interface with the Ambassador on a multitude of issues. “It was rewarding not only for our airmen, but of the family members to hear this message of gratitude from the Ambassador on the behalf of the Afghan people,” he said.

For many of the military families and personnel, this was their first meeting with a foreign envoy. One pilot prefaced his question about counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan by noting that in twenty years of service, he had never had a chance to speak with an ambassador. After the event, Ambassador Jawad said, “It was a true privilege to meet with these brave men and women. Each one is contributing to making life in Afghanistan just a little bit better, and America is safer thanks to their efforts.”

 

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